I love april fools so here is 6 chapters.
Thank you one of the gods of editing Axelia.
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Amaku Yasashii Sekai De Ikiru Ni Wa – 34
“I am glad you did not run away and hide, Doyle!”(Lute)
“Well, this is just show jumping. I do not see the need to run away to begin with.”(Doyle)
I come to the appointed place at the appointed time, and Lute starts to pick a fight with me immediately. I start to look around the field and see the obstacles are set up, and an audience has gathered as well. I see Leo, Luce with his gang, and Eleanor all sitting in the front row. Mr. Hengst is sitting with Jin and Gray.
Gray is still the same tsundere. I thought he said he did not care about this match or about me. Well, I am glad to see that he is the same no matter what happens. I continue to scan the audience for people I know.
“This is the last time you will ever be cocky! I will never lose to you in show jumping!”(Lute)
I ignore Lute after our first exchange of words, and that seems to have struck a nerve. I stare back at Lute and am about to say something, but Ballad starts to move. I stop him from interfering in this match by signaling with my eyes to Ballad to stand down and leave it to me.
Although I had said before to let me handle this match, he still tries to interfere. I guess this must be an instinctive or reflexive action for him. Do not worry, there is no way I will lose to Lute when I have Blanc with me.
“I am not being cocky. I am genuinely looking forward to the game we are about to play.”(Doyle)
“Just keep being like that! I will win in the end!”(Lute)
Seeing Lute shouting and yelling at me is kind of pathetic. When Grey yells, Grey is much more intimidating. I think Lute will blow a vein if I say this to him, so I just keep ignoring him. I look over at the horse Lute has. It was a brown coat . . . It is a good horse, but it is still inferior to Blanc. He may be a more skilled rider than me, but the gap between our physical abilities is huge. Also, I obtained the skill [Horse and Rider as One] yesterday.
As the name suggests, this skill combines the minds and bodies of the horse and rider. It becomes easier to convey thoughts and commands, the rider’s strength is given to the horse, and the horse responds by giving the rider full control. For a first-class horse like Blanc, the control is not equal but closer to 7-3, I give him 30% and he gives me 70% control due to the skill. After continued practice yesterday, I was able to beat the academy’s fastest time on the last attempt.
Although I was doing horribly and kept falling over, Ballad gave me this look of suspicion again when I was suddenly able to jump over that last Oxer. I managed to explain to him why I could jump over the last oxer and divert his suspicion again, but he began praising me to no end instead. Well, I like him more like that as opposed to him being quiet.
I felt strange about the fact that I was happy to see him flip his switch.
I guess like when I said I did not like Gray being all nice and friendly towards me, I do not like Ballad being quiet and silent as well. I am really used to the Ballad flips his switch constantly . . . I became worried by this revelation, but I will decide later if this kind of thought is harmful or beneficial to me.
My thoughts return back to the match in front of me. Although I said it was just a game to throw him off, I am still worried about any unexpected accidents that may happen during the match. Thus, I plan to face him with all my ability. I will use everything to hunt the rabbit in front of me.
I want to go first if possible.
Lute has confidence in his horsemanship, but if he sees me finish this course flawlessly, even he will be psychologically affected.
Fortunately, the odds are in my favor. I am already riding on my horse and am looking down on Lute because of this fact. Fortunately, Lute is looking down on me in a different way and is also very confident. This will allow me to request to go first.
“Well then, shall we get this game started, Lute?”(Doyle)
“Okay, I want to finish this fast as well.”(Lute)
“Let’s get started . . . May I go first? I am already on my horse which will allow us to waste less time.”(Doyle)
“Fine, it won’t matter. I will win in the end.”(Lute)
“Thank you, I shall abide by your words then.”(Doyle)
Lute gives me the ok to go first. I head to the starting point. He is more confident than I thought. I guess this is to be expected if he is still thinking that I am the same person as I was last year. However, to not reevaluate me after seeing me beat Jin during our match is quite disappointing. I thought he was much better than this and would be able to properly analyze his opponents.
I understand that he must want something bad enough to try and obtain the status of nobility, but I cannot allow Grey to be endangered because of that reason. Lute is a hard-working person. I know this just from him being the top ranked student for so long. He must be working this hard for some goal or something he wants very much. However, that reason does not matter to me. I will not let him put Gray in any danger for that reason.
I will try and find this reason that is driving him to risk his own life too. I will have Ballad look into this and investigate it. I arrive at the starting point, as I am thinking about these things and see Mr. Hengst. He is looking at me anxiously. He seems to be the person who is overseeing judgment and the starting signal.
“Yes! Please leave everything to me, Master!”(Blanc)
“Of course . . . I trust you more than any horse on this field. I know you are the best.”(Doyle)
“Of course, Master!”(Blanc)
Blanc is excited by my words and starts to give many cries and shouts. I remember that we beat the record, but since it was not an official stage, it did not count. I give a big smile and talk to Blanc again.
“Why don’t we try to set a new record? Huh, Blanc?”(Doyle)
“Of course, I am the fastest horse in the world!”(Blanc)
“Yep, you are the best horse, Blanc. I am counting on you!”(Doyle)
“Yes, my Master!”(Blanc)
I keep praising Blanc to give him more confidence and strength. I activate all my horsemanship skills, including [Horse and Rider as One]. Blanc, who is stomping the ground with his hooves, conveys his excitement and happiness into my mind and rids me of my worries. I feel that this skill is again the world conveying its love for me. I take my stance and grip the reins. Mr. Hengst raises his hand and prepares to swing the flag. This match will be decided in the 80 seconds after that flag goes down.
I do not feel like I will lose this match at all.
Mr. Hengst swings the flag, and I rush past the starting line.
Bam! Blanc kicks the ground strongly and starts to run like the wind. Blanc runs as fast as possible until we arrive at the first three obstacles which he easily jumps over. When we come upon the fourth and fifth level along with the Oxer, he quickly jumps over the first two and easily jumps over the Oxer. His momentum does not slow down and he continues at this speed.
I see the sixth and seventh double combination jumps. Blanc effortlessly jumps over these two obstacles and quickly heads for the last three combination obstacles. It feels like all of this is happening within the time span it takes to blink, but I know much more time than that has passed. However, I also feel that not much time has passed either. I feel Blanc breathing and the power he is putting into his legs. My ears are deaf to the noise the gallery makes as we come up to the last three obstacles.
Blanc jumps over the eighth and then the ninth obstacles and prepares to jump over the last Oxer. I close my eyes and give control of my body and mind to Blanc. I feel my body get lighter for a few seconds and then in the next moment, I feel the impact of Blanc’s hooves hitting the ground. I open my eyes and we quickly head for the goal. After we had reached the goal, I look back at the bars and see not even one is shaking.
I stroke Blanc’s neck and give him a treat from my subspace. The gallery is quiet for some reason. I guess they are waiting for my results.
At the goal, I patiently wait for the horse ranch staff to announce my results. The staff seems to have dragged Mr. Hengst over there and are discussing something. I wonder what. I look back and make sure that Blanc and I did not hit a single bar, so there should be nothing to discuss. There were taking some time thus, I begin to feel a little bit uneasy.
The staff looks like they have finally calmed down and announce the results. The person uses a magic tool to amplify their voice to make the announcement, so everyone can hear it.
“Time for Doyle Von Aghinis! 75:08 seconds! No mistakes! A new record!”(Staff 1)
Yes! I knew Blanc could set a new record! As I am thinking this, the gallery erupts into cheers. I start to praise Blanc some more.
“Blanc, I knew you could set a new record!”(Doyle)
“It is only because of Master’s wonderful horsemanship! I felt as if I was just running by myself, even though I could feel you on top of me! It made it very easy to run!”(Blanc)
“Nope, Blanc this achievement is all yours. I am truly glad that you are my horse.”(Doyle)
I stroke Blanc and pat him. Blanc seems to be really happy. I also tell him that as an additional treat, I will clean his coat until it sparkles. I return my attention to the gallery, and I can hear surprise and praise from all over. Luce and Ballad seem to have an expression of relief, while Leo and Eleanor were making joyful expressions. Ballad and Luce seem to have started to talk, so I use my wind magic to pick up on their conversation.
“It is as I have always said, Luce. When Master Doyle does something, he will always surpass all expectations. He will always be a person who is in the heavens. The beauty of Master Doyle’s fa-“(Ballad)
I stop my magic there because I already know where the conversation is heading. I know I said I like Ballad like this, but I am still not used hearing so much praise directed at me. I am truly astounded by Luce who can listen to Ballad’s praise and follow the conversation enough to also contribute to the praise. I wonder if he picked up the ability to be a really good conversation partner as the son of a merchant.
I look to Jin and Gray. Gray seemed to have a worried expression before the match but is now happily talking to Jin. Jin is also bowing to Gray and seems to be content as well. I ponder whether I should use my magic to pick up their conversation, but as I am thinking that, Jin starts to wave his hand in my direction and points at Gray for some reason.
Jin tries to make Gray wave his hand as well, but Gray seems to feel embarrassed and turns around. I guess his thought process is going something like this. He is happy at Blanc’s achievement of breaking the record and considers it as his own, but then he remembers he is still angry with me and turns around due to remembering his anger. Same as always. I wonder how a person can stay exactly the same for 5 years.
Well, I am glad that he is still like that, otherwise, I would have felt sad at the fact that my best friend has changed into someone I do not know . . . Also, it would be hard to tease him in the future as well. I will apologize after this match is over, but even if he does not forgive me, I am fine with it.
I will receive his mace and dodge as many times as needed. I head towards Lute with Blanc and see that Lute has turned quite pale with a worried expression on his face. As I thought, going first has applied the psychological pressure I was seeking.
We surpassed the record by 5 seconds, and we did not make a single mistake. There is a large number of judges and referees too, so there is no way to claim I cheated . . . Also, most of it was Blanc, I did not do much.
Besides beating my time, he must also finish this race without making a single mistake. The pressure on Lute’s mind must be heavy.
“It is time for your attempt, Lute.”(Doyle)
“I will be here. I am looking forward to watching the man who has claimed the top spot in horsemanship for five consecutive years.”(Doyle)
“Watch, I will blow your record out of the water.”(Lute)
I descend from Blanc and start to speak with Lute. He seems to be upset at my words, but he still proceeds to the starting position with a firm posture and confident speech. I wonder again what could be driving him into such a corner. He is a such a successful man. Even if he does not do this, he will certainly become a noble in the future . . . Why is he in such a rush?
I feel that an uncomfortable burden has been placed on Lute. I felt this last time as well, but I thought it was just the blood rising to my head at the time. The Lute in my memories of last five years was calm and someone who had great judgment. He was praised as someone who would become a noble the moment he set out into the world. Now he seems to have lost this ability and seems to be in quite the rush to become noble.
The Lute of the past should know the fastest route to becoming a noble and also should know this method is a gamble with many uncertain variables. This match could also worsen his relationship with Gray which was good back then. He was to be given one of the future positions in the royal court was something I heard from Sebastian once. Thus, there must be a reason that is of the utmost urgency.
If I can find this reason and see if it is something I can help with, then I would like to help. I still want to repay the debt from the entrance ceremony. I wonder if it is because I am confident that he has no chance of beating me right now, or it is just plain pity I am feeling for him now. I think of these things as I see the back of Lute who seem a little impatient.